Welcome to the Eight For Each State US Geography tour. I am so glad you are joining us.
Virginia, a history-rich state was easy to begin and hard to let go of! If we lived in Virginia, I would consider doing a full year of Virginia history. There are so many places to visit, study and enjoy. Natural sights also abound with caverns, mountains and seasides.
Virginia is one of our favorite states yet! Rich in history, natural wonders, and national landmarks, we did not want for material to study!
I did not include Washington DC in Maryland, and we did not cover it for Virginia. It is so big I feel it deserves its own unit. However, if you want, this would be a great place to add a Washington DC or government study.
Enjoy some of these topics below for you Virginia state study.
1. State Videos
My girls have begun to expect at least one video introducing each state in our US Geography tour. They love to learn a bunch of tidbits all at once. This has helped us to begin with a few fun facts about each state.
2. Colonial Life
Virginia is an excellent state to study some colonial history. Here are a few resources to get you started with fun historical projects!
- Colonial Days: Discover the Past with Fun Projects, Games, Activities, and Recipes by David C. King – We will do many of these activities in co op this year. This is a great book for the younger crowd!
- Great Colonial America Projects You Can Build Yourself by Kris Bordessa– I bought this book and love it! But, it is too old for my crew yet. I recommend at least third grade and up.
- Projects About Colonial Life by Marian Broida – This is the book we actually used for our state study. Ruth really got into making her own pocket. This project was worth searching your local library for this book.
We enjoyed making the Shrewsbury cakes from the recipe in this book. They were good, but seemed to have too much butter. If you would like to try Shrewsbury cakes, try this recipe instead.
3. George Washington
Virginia was the birthplace and home of the most famous American to ever live. Everyone here enjoyed learning about George Washington’s Mother by Jean Fritz. Be prepared for giggles as you enjoy this humorous short biography.
Ruth read George Washington, Soldier, Hero, President by Justine Fontes on her own. This is a fantastic introduction to the life of our first president.
There are a ton of President’s Day activities out there that include George Washington crafts. Here are just a few.
Williamsburg was the original capitol of Virginia.
On the Colonial Williamsburg website there are several resources that can help you take a virtual tour.
- Scroll to the bottom of the home page for a video introduction.
- Take a tour of the town.
- Kids fun and games!
The American Girl Felicity lived in Williamsburg. Ruth loved reading the book!
- Meet Felicity by
- Felicity: An American Girl Adventure – The movie!
- Felicity’s Tour of Williamsburg Virginia – How neat that the actors from the movie visited Williamsburg and give a tour on YouTube!
Here are some other great Williamsburg resources.
- Life as a Child in the 18th century – A YouTube video featuring young volunteers on how they learn and live in colonial times.
- The Silver Mace, A story of WIlliamsburg by Maud and Miska Petersham – An out of print, but delightful book, spanning Williamsburg’s history from Jamestown to the Revolution. Check your library for a copy.
- Hogsheads to Blockheads, The Kids’ Guide to Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area – If you are planning a visit to Colonial Williamsburg, this is a great book to stuff in your pack! I love the easy to understand explanations of the sites, the vocabulary helps, and the warnings about some potentially disturbing sites.
Sarah Joan’s notebooking pages directed us to the home to Thomas Jefferson. Monticello was such an interesting place to explore.
First I read about it in Historic Places of Early America. Then we talked about three things to write down together.
In the O is for Old Dominion teacher guide, there was a worksheet about naming estates. We had a good time talking about the different names of the estates in Virginia. Then we giggled and laughed as we tried to come up with a name for our estate.
Luray Caverns is a magnificent cave system near Shenandoah National Park. It is the largest cave system in the east, and deserves to be on any travelers list of places to visit!
To get a glimpse, check out these great YouTube videos.
Susan over at Hands on Learning: Behind the Scenes has a great list to put together your own cave unit study.
Caves are fascinating! Take some time if there is interest to build your own cave fort, look at cave books full of pictures and information, and perhaps even talk about bats.
Colonial Days: Discover the Past with Fun Projects, Games, Activities, and RecipesGreat Colonial America Projects: You Can Build Yourself (Build It Yourself)Projects about Colonial Life (Hands-On History)George Washington’s Mother (Penguin Young Readers, Level 3)George Washington: Soldier, Hero, PresidentGeorge Washington’s BreakfastMeet FelicityFelicity: An American Girl AdventureThe Silver Mace : A Story of WilliamsburgHogsheads to Blockheads: The Kids Guide to Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic AreaHistoric Places of Early AmericaArlington: The Story of Our Nation’s CemeteryVirginia (Hello USA) by Karen Sirvaitis (1991-08-02)Virginia Facts and Symbols (The States & Their Symbols (Before 2003))The Twelve Days of Christmas in Virginia (The Twelve Days of Christmas in America)
7. Arlington National Cemetery
I remember visiting Arlington as a seventh grader. Wow. There were really no other words in my mind. So many. The rows and rows of white grave stones stunned me.
I remember the Eternal Flame. I remember watching the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
I think that is the point of such a place — to remember.
Arlington, The Story of Our Nation’s Cemetery by Chris Demarest is a beautiful book. I love the pictures and the gentle, easy way of the text.
8. Fabulous Books for Virginia
- Virginia, Hello USA by Karen Sirvaitis – This is our go-to solid fact book series.
- Virginia Facts and Symbols by Bill McAuliffe – Sarah Joan loves these for her notebooking pages.
- O is for Old Dominion by Pamela Duncan Edwards – I cannot say enough good things about these books. They are what my girls look forward to on Monday afternoons when we begin each state!
- The Twelve Days of Christmas in Virginia by Sue Corbett – A cute series I found while browsing Amazon. These are great for any time of year!
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